In a major revelation, Congress on Friday has revealed the reason for former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's absence from the key party meeting chaired by interim president Sonia Gandhi at AICC headquarters on Thursday. Congress has reportedly said that Rahul Gandhi was not invited to the meeting as he does not 'fall in the criteria of leaders called for the meeting'. The meeting called by the party chief included Congress general secretaries, state chiefs, state Legislature Party leaders and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Rahul Gandhi has been avoiding key party meetings since his resignation from the top post.
The party reportedly claims that Singh was called to discuss economic issues. It added that Rahul Gandhi's presence was allegedly not mandatory. Since Congress accepted his resignation, Rahul Gandhi technically holds no organizational post except for Congress Working Committee (CWC) member. His absence was felt at the first meeting chaired by his mother since taking up the post of interim-party president.
Top leaders in attendance include former PM Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, KC Venugopal, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia. All Congress general secretaries are scheduled to meet on Friday as well to address the various issues. Apart from the strategy for the upcoming polls, the meeting has also been called to discuss preparations for Gandhi Jayanti. Previously, the party had announced that party workers will carry out padayatra across the country, wearing Gandhi topis and holding seminars to celebrate the Mahatma's birth anniversary.
During the meeting, party chief Sonia Gandhi had turned down a proposal to have 'Preraks' (motivators) for conducting the party's outreach activities across the country. There was consensus at a meeting of Congress' top brass chaired by Gandhi to continue with the old system of having trainers. These trainers would further be tasked with the responsibility of propagating the party's ideology and articulating its views on a range of issues. Sources said a proposal to have 'Preraks' was made at the meet by Sachin Rao, who is AICC in-charge of training. The proposal invited instant objections from many Congress leaders starting with Mukul Wasnik, who said it sounded too similar to the word 'Pracharak'. RSS, the BJP's ideological mentor, has a system of 'Pracharaks'.